A colposcopy (kol-POS-kuh-pee) is a method of examining the cervix, vagina, and vulva with a surgical instrument called a colposcope. The procedure is usually performed if the results of your Pap smear (the screening test used to identify abnormal cervical cells) are unusual. A colposcope is a large, electric microscope with a bright light that enables your doctor to see your cervix more clearly and under magnification. If your doctor spots any abnormal areas, they will take a tissue sample (biopsy). The procedure to retrieve a tissue sample from inside the opening of the cervix is called endocervical curettage (ECC). The samples are sent to a lab for examination by a pathologist.

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